Tesla Announces Major Upgrade To Original Roadster

Perhaps Tesla CEO Elon Musk fancies himself a Santa Claus.

On Friday, the electric carmaker announced highly anticipated upgrades to its original battery-powered sports car, dramatically improving its travel range on a single charge.

The Roadster, introduced in 2008, will be able to cruise up the coast from Los Angeles to San Francisco with the new longer-range battery, the company said in a blog post. The upgrade also includes new parts to bolster the aerodynamic design of the car, and tires with less rolling resistance.

The update is expected to increase the Roadster’s range by up to 50 percent when the car is driven at moderate speeds and on flat terrain.

“There is a set of speeds and driving conditions where we can confidently drive the Roadster 3.0 over 400 miles,” the company said, referring to the latest model of the car.

Tesla will begin demonstrating road tests of the upgrades in the next few weeks.

This doesn’t meant that buyers can once again purchase a new Roadster; the car, which started at $110,000, was discontinued in 2011. There are no plans to begin manufacturing and selling them again, a Tesla spokeswoman told The Huffington Post.

For now, the upgrade only applies to the Roadster. In a tweet on Thursday night, Musk said such improvements will eventually come to the Model S, the company’s flagship sedan and the only car it currently sells.